United Nations Ocean Conference 2022, 27th June - 1st July, Lisbon

The second UN Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, was opened on 27 June by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, addressing many of the deep-rooted problems in our society which require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the Declaration, titled “Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility”Heads of State and Government and high-level representatives participating in the Conference — which focused on Sustainable Development Goal 14 (life below water) — said that greater ambition is required at all levels to address the dire state of the ocean. 


More than 6,000 participants, including 24 Heads of State and Government and over 2,000 representatives of civil society joined the Conference. Commitments were made from every sector of industry and all stakeholders, including an emphasis on eliminating plastic marine litter and supporting innovative science-based actions to save our ocean.


Front row R - L: C Chivu, A Vassallo, David Vivas, UNCTAD; 2nd row R:  P Leder, and other partners
Front row R - L: C Chivu, A Vassallo, David Vivas, UNCTAD; 2nd row R: P Leder, and other partners

As an organization in consultative status with ECOSOC, the IOI was represented at this event by a delegation consisting of three persons: Antonella Vassallo, Managing Director IOI HQ, Peter Leder, IOI Governing Board member, Cosmin Chivu, Project Officer, IOI HQ.


The work of the IOI at the Ocean Conference built on the earlier meetings held in the preparatory phase and partnerships forged along the years and most recently UNCTAD’s 4th Oceans Forum on Trade-Related Aspects of SDG14 for which the IOI is a founding partner with UNCTAD and others.


Visit the UN Ocean Conference 2022 webpage for detailed information on the conference, podcasts, photos, videos etc.


  • 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference side event: From ocean knowledge to action - developing capacity to create a sustainable ocean economy. Altice Arena, 30 June

IOI partnered with, UNITAR, UNCTAD, One Ocean Hub, GOAL Global, and the Marine Institute - Foras na Mara/the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland in this side event which focussed on developing capacity for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Detailed information about this event can be found here.


Antonella Vassallo, delivered a presentation on the IOI Ocean Academy, launched as part of the IOI’s 50th Anniversary, with pilot courses in 2021 paving the way for a fully-fledged launch of global academies in 2022 to mark this special year. The presentation delivered a brief introduction to IOI and its global training and education and capacity development programmes as well as the new IOI programmes for Ocean Literacy and; the IOI Ocean Academy as a tool to reach out to audiences often side-lined in Ocean knowledge dissemination. The experience of the IOI and the partner Ocean Academy Directors in the initial roll out of the project, early feedback and lessons learnt, impact assessment demonstrated the effectiveness of the IOI Ocean Academy as a portable model with potential for scaling up globally.


Visit the  IOI Ocean Academy dedicated webpage for more detailed information or to register for any upcoming programmes.  


• 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference side event: Building a Bridge between Science and Sustainable Action in Managing Impacts of Non-Indigenous Species in the Mediterranean Sea; Lisbon, Pavilion of Knowledge, 28 June

IOI partnered with Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), iSea, the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (SPA/RAC) from Tunisia and Middle East Technical University (METU)/Marine Sciences Institute from Turkey for this side event. Details on the event can be found here. 


A presentation featuring “SPOT THE ALIEN!”, an impactful citizen science and literacy campaign on alien marine species of the central Mediterranean, was delivered by Antonella Vassallo. Launched in 2012 in the Mediterranean island of Malta by the IOI Training Centre in Malta, the project is a tool to co-opt citizens in the observation and collection of Ocean data. The use of Citizen science in the observance and recording of alien invasive species data, collation and verification methods, and scientific papers and models produced was emphasised during the presentation. Assessment of the impacts of the basin-wide Spot the Alien programme demonstrate its impactful and effective contributions to science, decision-making and ocean literacy and show the effectiveness of the Citizen Science project as a portable model with potential for scaling up globally. The IOI acknowledges the valuable contributions of IOI Malta Centre Prof Aldo Drago and Prof Alan Deidun who, respectively, launched and expanded this project.  


A third Voluntary Commitment from the IOI:

#OceanAction45943: IOI Ocean Academy – Ocean Knowledge for all


Since its foundation in 1972, the IOI has actively upheld and promoted the vision of founder Elisabeth Mann Borgese to provide dedicated capacity development and training on ocean governance that focuses on sustainable governance of the ocean and its resources so that future generations can share in their benefits. Placing its experience, commitment and expertise at the service of the oceans community to achieve SDG14, the IOI, has this year, on its 50th Anniversary, submitted a new commitment #45943, is the lead partner in commitment #41327 and a partner also in #41315; the latter two submitted for the first Ocean Conference in 2017 and upheld by the IOI since then. Read more..


Submission of a Statement to the UN Ocean Conference on the importance of Early Career Ocean Professionals (and IOI Alumni) to achieving Agenda 2030 and the vision of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development


The International Ocean Institute (IOI), alongside the UN Ocean Decade endorsed Early Career Ocean Professionals Programme (ECOP Programme), jointly submitted a statement to the UN Ocean Conference emphasising the unique role of Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) and the need to provide greater engagement and capacity building opportunities. Read more.